The first leg of quarter-final matches in the ongoing Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) will on Wednesday, August 25 go ahead across four centers.
In Lagos, the UNILAG Marines will attempt to put themselves in a vantage position as they tackle the AAUA Luminaries going into the second leg. The Marine Boys led by Coach Ogunsemore qualified to this stage by defeating the FUTA Tigers on a 3-0 goals aggregate. The Luminaries defeated 2019 semi-finalist OAU Giants on away goals rule drawing 1-1 in Ile-Ife.
In his reaction, Chief Strategy Officer at PACE Sports and Entertainment Marketing Limited, Goodness Onyejiaku assured fans of collegiate sports of the best of games. “These games are getting more exciting as we advance to the quarter-finals. Sponsors like StanbicIBTC, Nivea Men, Bold, and Minimie have ensured that Nigerian youths get an avenue to express themselves while they learn to become better persons in society. We have enjoyed games played in a friendly manner with fantastic support from the school authorities and we appreciate the spirit of sportsmanship shown by the teams”.
Meanwhile, UNN Lions have an uphill task against the UNIBEN Royals when both teams square up in Enugu. The Royals have shown their determination from the beginning of the season as they ended up as one of the highest goal-scoring teams in the tournament.
The Royals also ousted defending champion UNICAL Malabites on 4-3 on aggregate.
Speaking ahead of the match, UNN Lions coach, Ike Chijoke, said the Malabites will not be deterred by the pedigree of the Benin boys as the team is focused on qualifying for the next stage.
“We have prepared very well. We know that the UNIBEN team is good but in the game of soccer, it is a game of eleven men playing on both sides. We are working on our areas of deficiencies and we assure our fans that we will do our best to qualify for the next stage”.
In other matches, the maiden champion of HiFL, UAM Tillers will play UNIMAID Desert Warriors in Markurdi while UNILORIN Warriors tackle FUTMinna Transformers in Ilorin. The Tillers defeated ABU Nobles 4-2 over two legs in the round of 16 while the Desert Warriors also won 5-3 on aggregate against the BUK Stallions.
HiFL is organised by Pace Sports and the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA).